What is needed for a caliber conversion?

Discussion in 'XD Gunsmithing and Maintenance' started by elevensec7, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. elevensec7

    elevensec7 XDTalk Newbie

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    Ok, I know I should just buy another XDm, that's obvious. But instead, I was wondering about all the caliber conversion talk ive been hearing. Aside from the obvious barrel and magazine changes necessary to go from a .40 to a 9mm, what else would be necessary to change between the two calibers using the same frame? Or is this even possible? Im working with the full size XDm 3.8, .40 S&W, by the way. Any intel is greatly appreciated, thanks
     
  2. scxd40

    scxd40 XDTalk 100 Member

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    you need a conversion barrel, not just a typical 9mm barrel, and magazines (tho i have heard you CAN use the 40 mags with 9mm ammo, but i wouldnt reccomend it unless you were despirate).

    thats all you need. HOWEVER, 9mm being fired from a .40 gun may be picky. the extractor is different on a .40 than a 9. some people have no extraction problems, others have a few, others have a ton. theres no way to know until you see how your gun likes it. to do a full 9mm conversion you would need to swap the extractor as well. its highly suggested that for self defence or carry purposes, dont use the conversion...its fine for range use tho where reliability isnt life or death.
     
  3. ThumperIII

    ThumperIII XDTalk 1K Member Founding Member

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    The extractor for the 9mm and 40SW are exactly the same. The difference is in how far it is mounted from the center of the bore. This cannot be changed. The 40SW requires a wider cut breech face for the larger diameter cartridge. The extractor holds the cartridge by spring tension pushing the cartridge rim against the far wall of the breech. The smaller diameter 9mm (when pushed against the far wall of the breech cut) does not provide as much tension on the extractor and can more easily slip off the rim during extraction.- so extraction is less reliable. During feeding a new round this same extractor tension pushing the smaller 9mm cartridge against the far wall of the breech moves the entire cartridge slightly off center of the chamber and can cause misalignment during feeding - so less reliable feeding.
    OK for range practice. Not reliable enough for SD use. SA does not sell the (smaller breech) or any slide as a separate item so it cannot be 'fixed'. A 40-9 conversion can work with the 40 mag but will again be less reliable as the lips of the 40 mag do not present the smaller 9mm cartridge as well for pickup by the slide. You can bend the 40 mag lips in to hold the 9mm ammo but a dedicated 9mm mag works better.
    The 3.8 barrel being new, does not have many aftermarket brand barrels available yet.
     
  4. GuysXD40

    GuysXD40 XDTalk 100 Member

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    Recommend you drop a 9mm recoil spring in also, the cost is small and will assure the slide travels the correct length. The 40 spring is a heavier spring.
     
  5. ThumperIII

    ThumperIII XDTalk 1K Member Founding Member

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    The stock 9mm and 40SW (plus 357SIG in the XD series) all use the same weight recoil spring so putting in a '9mm spring' get you no change from the existing 40 recoil spring. However, with a conversion barrel, the 9mm barrel has much thicker walls than a standard m 9mm barrel. This is to make up the difference in outside diameter so the smaller caliber barrel will be properly aligned in the muzzle guide of larger 40SW slide opening. With a heavier barrel reliability can be improved with using a lighter spring. something like the Wolff 3 recoil spring tuning set for 9mm/40sw/357Sig.
    Not sure which aftermarkets are stocking a conversion barrel for the 3.8 yet. (Putting in a standard 9mm barrel will not function correctly the regular9mm barrel is too small to fit the 40SW muzzle guide. A conversion barrel is required).
     
  6. shooterX

    shooterX XDTalk Newbie

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    New to the forum and to the XDm, what about a 40 to 45 interchange?
    Thanks!
     
  7. jimdanos

    jimdanos XDTalk 15K Member

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    You can only go down due to the dimensions of the barrel. The 40 can be converted to 357 SIG with the same magazine and recoil spring, or to a 9mm with a new magazine and prehaps a lighter recoil spring (16#)
     
  8. Frenchy

    Frenchy <b>Cat Herder</b> Staff Member Founding Member

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    Breach-face and mag issues for starters. No can do!
     
  9. john_bud

    john_bud XDTalk 5K Member

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    Don't we all wish! Alas, it's not possible.
     
  10. shooterX

    shooterX XDTalk Newbie

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    Could you just use the lower frame and get a new slide/barrel assembly?
     
  11. dglock

    dglock XDTalk 3K Member

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    That would work but where could you get a slide and barrel?

    SA does not sell them.

    don
     
  12. Cuda66

    Cuda66 XDTalk 10K Member

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    Not for a .40-.45 conversion.

    The .45 is longer, requiring a larger magwell.

    About the only pistol out there that easily converts from .40-.45 is a 1911.
     
  13. joe40

    joe40 XDTalk Newbie

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    I got a Fire dragon 9mm conversion barrel and a 9mm magazine for my xd .40 subcompact. The company warns you that the action may stick and if it does they will talk you through using emery cloth till it works right, needless to say I was nervous. This has turned out to be an excellent purchase. The action was flawless, not one FTF, FTE, nothing. 400 rounds later not one error. Total price was $170 plus the magazine. It takes under 10 seconds to switch from .40 to 9mm. The difference in recoil is barely noticeable.
     

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